Okay, first of all, THANK YOU for reading Tynan.net. My impulse in every post I write is to express my gratitude to you as a reader, but I don't because I think it would become annoying and probably not seem as genuine is it really is. So here's my yearly thank you.
Whether you've just started reading, you subscribe to every different feed I have, or even if you're one of the very few people who only write nasty comments, I'm really glad to have you as a reader. It's easy to get caught up in subscriber numbers and pageviews and all that, but I never forget that each number represents a real person who cares enough about what I have to say to take time out of their days and visit. I'm flattered and humbled to have every single person read. Thank you.
Over the past year I've met a bunch of readers, and I'm once again overwhelmed and honored that these people read my site. They range from people just barely breaking out of the mold, but eager and ambitious to people I've respected for years and had no idea even knew I existed (like the author of my favorite books in High School!). I can't meet all of my readers, but from the sample I have met, I can get an idea of who I'm writing for.
Also, a special thank you to people who comment on posts and to the people who have bought my products. I'm not the best at replying to comments, but I read every last one and get a lot out of the feedback. I think the quality of comments on my site is very high and adds to the reading experience, so thank you for helping me make this a good site to read.
It's a tricky balance charging money for products I put out and not becoming one of those sites that focuses on extracting every last dollar from the readers. Creating quality products that will create lifelong benefit for the purchasers is always my first priority, and it's awesome to see that people are willing to try out what I create and often send me an email letting me know what they thought (on a side note, user reviews on Amazon.com directly and drastically affect the recommendations engine, which is where most of my sales come from. If my book made a big difference in your life, a good review on Amazon could make a big difference in mine).
The Email Popup
I know that most people don't like the pop up that asks for your email. The reason I don't take it down is because it results in a significant amount of subscribers. I WILL improve it, though, by making an option to never see it and make it look better. I've already disabled it on iphones, because someone told me that it interferes with reading the rest of the site. I'm mentioning this in hopes that people won't write about it in the survey.
Every year I like to do a survey. Before I tell you about it, I want to make it clear that people's responses play a big part in my actions. I make decisions based on individual suggestions as well as aggregate trends that I notice. So if you take the time to fill it out-and I hope you will-do it knowing that I personally read it and consider everything you write. It's not just for fun or to prop up my ego-it's a tool to make this site better for everyone.
Some notes on the questions:
I ask what you'd be willing to pay for for a couple of reasons. First, I think money talks-if you're willing to pay for something, it's important to you. I personally like paying for things from people I respect, as long as it's a good value and the producer's first goal was quality. As my income from the site increases, it makes more sense to spend more time writing posts, as well as creating and editing videos (which takes a long time). I find it hard to figure out what people would like to buy from me, so I think there's a good chance you might suggest something that I would never think of myself. Some ideas to get you started: books, videos, coaching, seminars, web apps, etc.
I'm also very interested in what makes you share an article. It seems that relative to the positive response, comments, and readership, my posts don't get passed around as much as I'd expect. I'm curious to find out why. One big change I made as a result of a previous survey was moving from betterthanyourboyfriend.com to tynan.net. A few people told me that they didn't link to the site because the name put people off.
Please consider taking a few minutes to do the survey. The boxes look really small, but you can actually write as much as you want. Thank you!
Thank you Tynan too! Thanks in part to reading your blog and book I followed my dream and travelled through Asia... it was one of the best experiences of my life, and I can't thank you enough for providing inspiration.
I concur. I cured my pre-diabetes 3 hyears ago by dumping wheat and other neolithic foods. Now it's grass fed- locally raised beef all tha way!
For an entertaining look at how we got obcessed with the low fat dogma, check out Tom Naughtons documetary, "FatHead". http://www.fathead-movie.com/
Article about why the china study is bogus:
Campbell has invented correlations and ignored others. In fact plant protein is far more harmful than animal protein FROM HIS OWN DATA SET. The China Study is a fraud.
SETT has gotten to the point that I'm spending less time putting out fires and stomping bugs, and more time trying to think about how people are using it and how I can make that better.
As you've probably noticed, I'm working really hard to write two solid blog posts per week, even though my life is consumed with SETT right now. If you could give me back a few minutes of your time to answer this SETT survey, it would really mean a lot to me.
SETT SURVEY IS HERE. CLICK ME.
I never fill out surveys online because I sort of imagine that they get sent to the digital equivalent of a dark moldy basement somewhere and never get read. NOT THIS ONE. I will personally be reading every single reply, and will take all feedback very seriously. After all, I'm making SETT to help build communities and give some of the power back to the readers. So if I don't listen to readers... who else can I listen to?
Speaking of which, I feel like I owe a huge debt of gratitude to each of my readers. Just by reading my site and interacting with it, not to mention all the valuable bug reports you've sent me, you've had a huge hand in building SETT. If I didn't have a real live community reading my site, it would be impossible for me to test things out. There have been glitches along the way, and I appreciate everyone having patience. Thank you.
Two days ago I wrote the Genius and Tragedy post. It was extremely controversial - very popular on one hand, but got some very strong visceral negative reactions. I'd like to share with you what I've learned about writing, so I can step my game up and improve. Also, I got some downright hateful comments made about me, some really bad and terrible stuff. If this has never happened to you, maybe you don't know what it feels like, and I've got some advice on how to deal with it. I also did some detailed reading and analysis of the kinds of comments I got, and there was some fascinating results that I'll share.
So, first and foremost, I made a mistake - If you're writing to help someone, it can be pretty presumptuous to do it without touching base and clearing it with them first. I made that error for a few reasons - first, two of my best posts have come from the same format, and both achieved their desired objective. ("How do I write so much, you ask?" and "I think greatness is something you do, not something you are" both publicly called people I like out - and both times it worked) - so that's the first thing, I'd had a good track record with this, however those were people I'd been touching base with already.
Second, as a general principal I believe in working really quickly. I analogize it to "fighting out of formation" - quick, lightly edited writing is always worse than well-edited best practices. But, the more you do of it, the better you get at it. And by producing anything really quickly, you get better faster. If someone produces 10 times as much content, how long until their lightly edited work is superior to the other person's highly polished work? This isn't a rhetorical question - check out "Quantity Always Trumps Quality" on codinghorror.com sometime. If you produce quickly and of lower quality at first, you can iterate and improve, and eventually your quick production work is better than the obsessively refined person's work who isn't getting as much done (and thus not learning the lessons). Pablo Picasso talked about this quite a bit, if you're particularly interested on the topic.
The downside, of course, is that you make mistakes. And I did - I should've touched base before writing that post, or had it vetted, or at least, spent more time editing it to be clear, concise, and unambiguous, and even more polite. Mea culpa - my mistake! It's okay for me to work quickly and bring errors upon myself because of it, but I need to be more careful when involving others.
Then, why is that post still up? This is what I wrote as the episode was winding down, it was well-received by the community -